This business of setting intentions is, among other things, a journey. And every great journey needs reading materials—to serve as road maps and guides, provide inspiration and pleasure.
We here at Wishing Well love books. No really, we love them.
So much so, that when we were talking about our favorite books to share with y’all, we struggled. We each brought a really long list and had trouble paring that down to 10, much less a single book.
We finally did, though, because we love y’all. And we want you to read or reread these books that had such a profound impact on our lives. We believe whatever intention you are trying to manifest in your life these words can help.
Jen Engel, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I still remember how I felt reading this book the first time, how desperately I wanted to be Scout and how much this solidified my desire to be a writer. It was only later, when I read this as an adult and then again as a parent, that I really understood the magic of this book. It is a parenting manual more than anything, and a damn good one. The person I now want to be is Atticus, moral and kind and brave in all the right way and for all the right reasons. There is a moment in there when he is talking to his children about how he had handled a trying situation. They had wanted more bluff and bluster. What Atticus says next has inspired me in some of the toughest moments of my life. It is how I want to live. “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
Victoria Wise, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo: One of the biggest (and most profound) takeaways from this novel is the idea of “Personal Legends”. Coehlo has said in interviews that he’s “100 percent convinced” everybody has a Personal Legend but that not everybody fulfills theirs. What has stayed with Victoria is this idea that you can fill your days with the meaningless—the meetings, the errands, the stuff—or you can do the thing that lights you on fire, that makes life purposeful. This is how you know you are pursuing your Personal Legend. What Neil Patrick Harris said about The Alchemist, that “I often feel like books find us for reasons, and we read them when we need them most”, fits perfectly for this beautiful story. And we believe it to be true about books in general.
Jennifer Hudgins, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle: Jen liked this book before Oprah. Okay, maybe not quite, but close enough. What she discovered in these pages was what she already believed yet had not been able to articulate. It is only when you realize your purpose on Earth will you find true passion and live in it. If you know Jen H., even a little bit, you know this woman is all about passion. The big takeaway, though, was what it means to truly embrace your purpose. Tolle has an amazing quote about “whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” The key to finding your purpose is to stop fighting what you do not want and embrace fully what you do.
Lauren Foster, Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen: This memoir is actually by Baroness Karen von Bixen-Finecke written with a pen name. The movie is more widely known but the story in written form is somehow even more powerful. It is ostensibly about her 17 years living and eventually running a coffee plantation in Kenya but its ultimate impression is of the woman. Karen is a reminder that bad things happen and we start again and again and yet again. And by doing so, by being willing, we open ourselves up to the possibility of the best moments of our lives. This book is about courage and adventure and taking whatever life throws your way and owning it.
So grab a book (or all four) and a glass of wine and a well-lit corner and be inspired, dear ones.
And we’d love to hear from y’all as well.
What book or books speak to you. What should our little Wishing Well community be reading. Inspire us. Because we are all in this together.
Burn The Boats,